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Table 3 shows the effects of the different water sources used for irrigation of guava crops on the physical and physicochemical properties of the fruits. There was a significant difference in all the physical and physicochemical properties, with only the fruit length being an exception. Larger fruits are generally preferred both by harvesters and consumers. Irrigation of crops with treated waste water resulted in fruits that were larger with respect to diameter, fresh weight and volume. The guava fruits were up to 17% higher in fresh weight and up to 21% higher in volume compared to those that were irrigated with lake water. It has been reported that wastewater affects the plant nutrient source and may contribute to the accumulation of organic matters in soils, which results in improved growth in both trees and fruits (Pedrero & Alarcón 2009). As for the physicochemical attributes, guava fruits harvested from the farm that uses treated waste water for irrigation of crops were observed to possess higher firmness, TSS, titratable acidity and moisture content. Higher amounts of these attributes in fruits are highly preferred by consumers. The firmness of fruits is related to the texture of fruits, and a higher firmness equates to fruits that are crunchier in nature. A higher firmness of the fruits also correlates to a higher moisture content of the fruits, where the higher the moisture content, the firmer the fruits (Rashidi et al. 2010). The TSS, on the other hand, is used to indicate the percentage of soluble solids and is one of the important factors for grading the quality of fruits (Beckles 2012). Besides being more desirable for consumption, fruits with high TSS content are desirable for processing (Ercisli 2007). In addition, previous research also suggests that TSS are often associated with the eating quality of ripe fruits (Mitchell et al. 1991). As for titratable acidity, it is often times responsible for the distinct taste and flavors in most fruits (George et al. 2016) and the guava is no exception. A higher amount of TA results in a more distinct flavor in the guava fruits. Guava crops irrigated with treated waste water resulted in fruits that were of better quality with regards to physical and physicochemical attributes. Results from this study are in agreement with previous studies, whereby irrigation with treated waste water was observed to result in fruits with higher quality compared to irrigation with other water sources, due to the ability of waste water to supply the crops with enough nutrients (Al-Lahham et al. 2003; Jun-feng et al. 2007). The physicochemical properties of the fruits ultimately affect the sensory attributes of the fruits, and the effects of the water sources used for irrigation on the sensory attributes of the fruits will be further discussed in the following sections.

Table 3

Effects of different water sources used for irrigation of guava crops on the physical and physicochemical attributes of the guava fruit

 TWWLW
Length (cm) 11.65 ± 0.3a 11.71 ± 0.2a 
Diameter (cm) 11.33 ± 0.25a 10.58 ± 0.2b 
Fresh weight (g) 679.4 ± 27.9a 580.35 ± 26.7b 
Volume (cm3) 752.75 ± 57.25a 620.25 ± 45.5b 
Firmness (kgf) 0.78 ± 0.01a 0.75 ± 0.01b 
TSS (°Brix) 8.17 ± 0.21a 7.02 ± 0.3b 
pH 3.73 ±0.05a 3.93 ±0.09b 
TA (%) 0.51 ± 0.04a 0.31 ±0.03b 
Moisture content (%) 92.69 ± 0.41b 90.82 ± 0.52a 
 TWWLW
Length (cm) 11.65 ± 0.3a 11.71 ± 0.2a 
Diameter (cm) 11.33 ± 0.25a 10.58 ± 0.2b 
Fresh weight (g) 679.4 ± 27.9a 580.35 ± 26.7b 
Volume (cm3) 752.75 ± 57.25a 620.25 ± 45.5b 
Firmness (kgf) 0.78 ± 0.01a 0.75 ± 0.01b 
TSS (°Brix) 8.17 ± 0.21a 7.02 ± 0.3b 
pH 3.73 ±0.05a 3.93 ±0.09b 
TA (%) 0.51 ± 0.04a 0.31 ±0.03b 
Moisture content (%) 92.69 ± 0.41b 90.82 ± 0.52a 

Values followed by different letters within the same column are significantly different for each fruit (p < 0.05) (n = 30). TWW: treated waste water; LW: lake water.

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